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Meal Planning & Bulk Cooking for the Elderly

Eating healthy nutritious meals are important for everyone, but it is not always possible to make healthy food choices.  Whilst there is a huge range of ready-made microwavable meals available at the Supermarket, these can often be high in salt, sugar, fat & calories.

A better option is to meal plan ahead or bulk cook and freeze.

Flavour and texture of food needs change as we age, so it’s important to consider foods that are soft to chew and not too spicy, as the elderly experience deterioration in both the sense of smell and taste.  We have put together some preferable cooking processes, storing options, as well as meal suggestions:

 

Cooking Methods

Braising, boiling and steaming are some of the best ways to prepare food for the elderly.  Boneless and skinless meats are best as well as ensuring meats are not tough, chewy or have bones.

Avoid coarse, stringy, hard and dry textured food, sticky foods and also those that tend to crumble easily.

 

Storing Food

If you are planning to bulk cook and drop off meals for elderly loved ones, it’s important to consider food preferences, what foods freeze well, convenience as well as storage space in the freezer.

Air Tight Glass Storers – these are handy because they can be moved from the freezer or fridge straight into the oven or microwave (with lid removed).  They are a great option for just reheating meals.

Plastic Containers – come in so many different shapes and sizes and easily fit into the freezer.

Foil Trays – these are great as you don’t need your container returned.  These are good for foods like rissoles and bakes.

Ziplock Bags – these are good for storing individual serves of soup or Bolognese sauce.

 

Top 30 Freezer Meal & Snack Ideas

Rissoles

Bolognaise Sauce

Chicken & Corn Chowder

Pea & Ham Soup

Pumpkin Soup

Hearty Potato & Bacon Soup

Shepherd’s Pie

Lasagne

Macaroni Cheese

Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake

Slow Cooked Beef Ragu

Lamb Casserole

Butter Chicken

Tuna Mornay

Sausage Stroganoff

Chicken and Leek Pie

Aussie Beef and Mushroom Pie

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork

Zucchini Slice

Meatloaf

Meatballs

Pizza Bases

Muffins

Cinnamon Rolls

Scones

Pancakes

Cookies

Cake

Energy Bars

Slices

All these meals & snacks can be portion sized into individual meals.   Many of the above meal recommendations will provide essential nutrients and are soft, easy to absorb and digest.  It’s also important to ensure the elderly stay hydrated drinking at least 2 litres of water a day, as they are more prone to dehydration.

With minimal preparation and organisation, you can help to prepare meals for your elderly loved ones, knowing that they are eating a balanced and nutritious diet.  All our meal suggestions are easily found by searching the internet for recipes.  Bon Appetit!

If you would like to contact us with regards to short-term or long-term accommodation in one of our homes, you can contact us here.

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